Hello and Greetings,
DBGM has been working to raise awareness of the underlying factors contributing to depression in Black gay men, so as to prevent their suicide. But, we realized, from listening to the comments from the stories some of these men shared in the documentary that their relationship and the acceptance by and from their mothers was and is crucial to their self-acceptance. I'm sure you will agree that the relationship between a mother and her son is considered one of the strongest bonds.
For many, this lack of acceptance, manifested in a rejection or repudiation of who any one of these men are, maybe the fundamental environmental reason for their descent into unhealthy life choices, which in turn may contribute to their depression. Just to be clear, mothers are not being blamed, rather, they are encouraged to reject the social constructs and demands which cause them to ostracize their sons for their sexual orientation/identity, particularly the homophobia perpetuated by religious institutions.
DBGM is about to launch a support group, "Sons & Mothers" for Black men who have not been accepted by their mothers. The goal of this group is to educate mothers, other relatives and the Black gay males who participate; bringing understanding and possible acceptance of Black men in their families, as well as the community.
The group will meet weekly on Thursdays beginning April 17th, 2014. The group will be facilitated by certified and licensed mental health professionals in Brooklyn at GMAD Court Street, Brooklyn, NY. This group will be open to Black gay men, their mothers and/or other relatives of the Black gay men.
In the near future, we plan to obtain space in Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx. After the launch in New York, we plan to expand this support group and others in major cities with significant Black populations.
This is an extension of the work that DBGM is engaged in, to ensure that another Black gay man does not commit suicide, another Black mother, father, friend or relative does not have to experience that wrenching feeling, that deep and seemingly unquenchable pain that rips through one’s entire being.
We'd like your help by sharing this information with your friends, family, colleagues, clients, parishioners, etc. Letting them know that this support group is forming and encouraging them to participate.
Let none of us ever be in the position of knowing someone who committed suicide and have to ask, "What could I have done to prevent it from happening?"
For further information or to register, please have individuals to send a message to: email@example.com
Working to prevent another Black man from committing suicide…
Antoine B. Craigwell
Founder, President & CEO
DBGM is a three-in-one project:
- a documentary "You Are Not Alone", in which Black gay men are breaking a taboo and speaking out about their depression, how they coped and survived;
- a book (currently being written) in which Black gay men share stories of their struggle and suffering with depression; and
- community discussion forums which serve to raise awareness of depression in Black gay men who are empowered to rebuild their self esteem, boost their confidence and develop trust, to reach out for help, so as to heal, realize and achieve their potential in life.
A Black gay man dealing with depression should know that it is treatable and he need not suffer in silence; he is not alone."
If you feel that you want to harm to yourself, you know someone who is planning to harm to him or herself, of if you just feel like speaking with someone confidentially, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.